It's really no secret that millennials are totally and completely misunderstood. No one really seems to know exactly what we're like, what we want, and what we're dreaming of. This can be a really frustrating experience and sometimes it can even be downright insulting. We have to see all kinds of articles all over social media and the internet that are basically enough to make us want to stop looking online altogether. Seriously, it's crazy what people say about us. It's definitely time for us to set the record straight and say what us millennials have known all along: we're not as bad as everyone seems to think that we are. And we have a lot of good qualities that always seem to be ignored. But they always say that we shouldn't get mad, we should get even. So we're going to say once and for all that there are certain things that we know about ourselves and our lives that the older gens just don't seem to get.
Here are 15 things that only millennials will understand.
15 Being Misunderstood
Straight up, let's just get this out of the way: all millennials get that we are misunderstood. We are misunderstood by pretty much everyone out there, from our older relatives to our bosses to random strangers that we walk by on the street. We all get that this is the way that the world works, and so we don't even really expect to be understood anymore. When another think piece comes out about how we don't know how to behave at the office or about how older employees just don't know how to deal with us, we always shake our heads in disbelief. Or we want to bang our heads against our desks. Not sure which one is more true. Older generations definitely aren't as misunderstood as we are. No one says such completely crazy and negative things about them. We kind of wish they could see what it's like.
14 People Thinking We're Lazy
Oh man. If we could stop just one stereotype from being perpetuated about our generation, it would be this. We are really sick and tired of how lazy most people think that we are. We're not sure how this started but it seems like everyone who is older than us seems to feel this way. Why are we lazy? Because we're in our 20s? Because we love Netflix and technology and phones and laptops? What does that have to do with being lazy? Don't those things bring joy and convenience to our lives, and don't laptops help us work easier and smarter and better? Only millennials understand that it really sucks to be called lazy for no reason at all. It sucks to be misunderstood in this way and it seems like this idea is never going to disappear from society. But if we could have one wish, we would hope that people would stop saying this about us.
13 How Much We Really Love Our Phones
So this stereotype is at least true... and we don't even care. We really, really love our phones. We think they are just the best and greatest and most amazing things around. We can't even imagine how our lives were before the glorious smartphone was invented, and the thing is that we really don't want to go down that depressing memory lane. We would much rather live in this day and age where we can check the pretty pictures on Instagram the moment we jump out of bed (yes, even before we pee). We want to be able to text our best friends 24/7 and we want to stay connected all the time. We can't even imagine not being connected all the time. Our phones are a part of us and we are really attached to them. But this isn't a bad thing. Only us millennials understand how much we love our phones and how this isn't a negative thing at all, unlike what a lot of people tend to believe.
12 Not Caring About Tradition
People love to say that, oh, us millennials are so sad and tragic because we're not doing the things or buying the things that previous generations used to. We're not getting married as early. We're not having kids as early. We're not buying cars or houses or any of that white picket fence dream stuff. Well, so what?! Something that only millennials understand is that we really don't care about tradition. Sure, some of us have cars and husbands and houses, but we're pretty much in the minority there. We want to live our lives in a different way that people used to, and we just don't think that there is anything wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with living with our significant other for a long time before getting engaged... and there's nothing wrong if we never want to get married, either. It's all good, even if our lives look totally different.
11 Working Hard But Getting No Credit
Okay, so sometimes we get credit. And that's great. Because credit should always be given where credit is due, as the old saying goes. Unfortunately, there seems to be this understanding in society that millennials don't have a strong work ethic... or, really, any work ethic at all. We're thought to be lazy and have no interest in working hard or even holding down some form of employment. We're not supposed to respect older people or want to learn from them. What, do people think that we lie around all day in bed watching Netflix and we don't have normal jobs or anything to do?! It's kind of crazy. But unfortunately, this stereotype just keeps going and going and it doesn't seem like it's going to die anytime soon. We're really tired of working hard and not always getting any credit for it, and this is something that our age group can only really understand.
10 Online Dating Being No Big Deal
Here's the thing: if we're a millennial and we're single, we're online dating. There is really no other way for us to meet people these days. If we do meet someone the old-school way, aka in person and in real life, then we tend to meet them through friends, at school or at work, at a party, etc. But this is happening less and less and it's not really the most normal way to meet our significant others these days. Only millennials understand that online dating is really and truly no big deal. Hey, we're already so used to our phones and computers, so why not date this way? We even kind of enjoy online dating... sometimes. If we're in a good mood and if things seem to be going well. Ask us tomorrow and our feelings could change entirely. But every once in a while, we think that this is a great way to meet people, and it's pretty convenient, too.
9 Not Being As Selfish As People Say
Only we get that we're not really as selfish as everyone seems to think that we are. A few years ago, TIME magazine had a cover story about millennials and called us "the me me me generation." The cover line was, "Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents. Why they'll save us all." Needless to say, this was a controversial thing, and the internet went completely crazy. People agreed with it, people disagreed, and everything in between. We're pretty sick of being called the "me generation" because we know that we're not this selfish. The weird thing is that although we know this, no one else seems to. We're just not sure how this became a thing. We wish we could stop this myth from continuing to grow but we're not sure how we could possibly do that. Oh well. At least we know that we're not selfish. We care about people and we don't just think about ourselves all the time.
8 How We Can Adapt
The thing about us millennials is that we're a whole lot cooler and more awesome than we ever seem to get credit for. What's really cool about us, though, is that we can adapt. We have had to change our minds about what kind of future we wanted... and we've done that a few times. It's no secret that things have changed and that when the financial collapse happened several years ago, we realized that there were certain job options that we're super smart and that maybe we had to think more carefully about what kind of future was really possible. But we did it. We changed our futures, we adapted, and we think that we've come out the other side even better. We're not as whiny and annoying as people seem to believe that we are, because instead of crying about the changing world, we got with the program and got to work and figured it out.
7 Our Pop Culture Obsession
Millennials understand that we are just totally and completely obsessed with pop culture. We can't help it. We can't change it. And that's okay because we really wouldn't want to. Sure, this might seem super obvious since we tend to have this thing for Netflix. It's our best friend, our shoulder to cry on, our comfort in a storm and it just makes our world go round. We don't know what we would do without it. So when other people wonder why we're so into the latest Netflix show that just premiered, whether it's Stranger Things or the upcoming revival of Gilmore Girls, we just shrug. We don't know how to explain it to them. Pop culture is just something that we really love. It is always there for us and we wouldn't have it any other way. If loving pop culture means that we're always going to be misunderstood, then we guess we will just accept that.
6 How We Get Things ASAP
We love our family. We do. Our grandmas are sometimes even cooler than we are and some of us even have lovely grandmas who are into pop music and computers. And, yeah, there's the fact that they adore their iPads and seem to understand them even better than we do. Then there are other people (like some of our other relatives...) who just don't seem to get it when it comes to phones, computers, and technology in general. They don't know what a gif is, how Twitter works, if they should know what emojis are, etc. But it's not their fault and we know that it's not fair to make fun of them for not knowing this stuff. It's not their generation and it's not really part of their world. All this stuff is new and shiny and part of our world instead. The thing about us millennials is that we just seem to get this stuff... and not only that, but we understand it pretty much ASAP.
5 Why We Stress Out
Only millennials understand that we stress out about pretty much everything under the sun. Name it, we're going to worry about it. And no, we don't think this is weird. For us, this is just our normal state of being. Call it overthinking, call it unhealthy, even call it crazy. We stress out about a lot of things because we think that we should. We seem to be told that we're not going to have a stable future and that we have to worry about everything from money to dating to family and friendships. We worry about paying bills, we worry about losing our jobs (even when there is no reason to think this way), we worry about an uncertain future that we don't have a ton of control over. But at the same time, we don't even mind worrying. It makes us feel like we are in control and like we will know what to do when things hit the fan.
4 How Complicated We Are
Yup, us millennials are definitely pretty complicated... and we're proud of it, too. People don't get this but that's okay. We know who we are. Sometimes we want to use our phones 24/7 and other times, we're okay with putting them away and focusing on the real world. That means that sometimes we can tweet or Instagram about a million times a day... and the next day, we just want to unplug and forget that phones and technology even exist. We want to find someone to love and be with forever, but we also don't mind our single girl days where we can learn who we truly are and what makes us happy. We want to work hard but we want to have a life, too. We are basically super complicated but so what? We wouldn't change that for the world and we don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing. If people want to misunderstand us, then fine, let them.
3 We Love Slang
Saying that we are single AF (or tired AF or whatever else). Using terms like "bae" and "we just can't even." We love slang, no doubt about it, and we will always and forever be super happy when we discover new terms for words that already exist. People don't get that but us millennials do, so it's all good. We think that the English language is a beautiful thing and that it can only be super great that people keep inventing new words. Why not? Why not find better ways of expressing ourselves? Sure, people might think that saying "boyfriend" is better than "bae." But we totally beg to differ. We think bae is just so funny. We just want to have fun, enjoy ourselves, and live our lives to the fullest while we can, and we think that using slangs and different words is part of that. If people don't like it, we don't care.
2 We Actually Like Being Basic
Fall (and all the pumpkin spice lattes, boots, cozy sweaters and scarves that come with it). The latest Netflix series that everyone is talking about. Posting our food on Instagram. Loving Taylor Swift and her single girl/break-up songs. Liking what is super popular. Using any of the slang words and terms mentioned above. Yeah, we're pretty basic, and we don't think that's a bad thing. In fact, we would go so far as to say that we even like being basic. This is something that only millennials truly understand. We're super serious about the fact that we are basic and proud of it. Sure, this might not make any sense. Why would we want to be basic? Isn't that a negative thing? We get that we don't think of it that way. We like having things in common with our fellow girls and we will gladly drink love fall, our pumpkin spice lattes, wear our cozy sweaters and boots and scarves, listen to Taylor Swift, post our food on Instagram and use slang. Yup, sounds good to us.
1 We Can Poke Fun At Ourselves
The final and number one thing that only millennials understand? That would be that we can poke fun at ourselves. We absolutely can. We totally get that our slang words can be totally ridiculous and even kind of silly. We understand that we use words like "bae" and "basic" and that it's kind of strange. We know we have to put our phones away sometimes and that we might be a bit too obsessed with technology. We also know that we become totally and completely obsessed with things when we should maybe calm down. But we can't calm down. And we won't. Because although we can poke fun at ourselves and we don't always take our generation too seriously, we do love our lives. We love our age. And yeah, we love being millennials. So go ahead, make fun of us. Just know that we're going to laugh at ourselves, too and that your words won't hurt.